I’m guessing you clicked on this link because you thought you would get to read a recap of The Bachelor’s season finale, after THE MOST DRAMATIC PENULTIMATE EPISODE IN BACHELOR HISTORY. But I have bad news: You thought wrong. Monday night’s episode, to the surprise of this Bachelor recapper, was in fact not the finale. The Bachelor often teases a two-part conclusion to the season, but generally the first night is the finale and the second night is a discussion episode called After the Final Rose. Not this time! The episode ended with Colton banging on Cassie’s door, preparing to beg her for a second chance.
The action in Monday night’s episode was brief but brutal. It began where we left off—Colton loves Cassie, but Cassie dumped Colton, so Colton jumped a fence and tried to run away, with detective Chris Harrison leading a search party for Colton on a dark Portuguese road. When Chris catches him, Colton wants no part of the cameras or the Chris. He reveals he had no idea where he was going—“I just had my wallet”—and that he was done with the show. “Done done,” to be specific.
Somewhere along the line, somebody reminds Colton that he can’t be “done done” with the show, because he has a contract and he signed his name on it and everything. Colton wakes up with a renewed dedication to allowing his pursuit of love to be filmed for national television. He would fight for love, and chase Cassie with the same dedication that Chris Harrison chased him with.
So what would happen next? Nothing fun. The Bachelor decided that Colton couldn’t just chase Cassie—he had to end things with Tayshia and Hannah, the two women in the final three whom he wasn’t in love with.
Have you ever seen a movie where everybody dies in the end? Even the hero? That’s what this season of The Bachelor feels like right now. Colton dumped Tayshia, and he cried, and she cried. It’s worth noting that Tayshia handled this well; she realized Colton was about to start weeping and requested that their conversation continue somewhere they couldn’t be filmed. The Bachelor allowed this ... but still aired their conversation because neither Colton nor Tayshia removed their microphones. Here is an image of ABC’s coverage of that conversation:
Now that I think about it, this kinda just looks like ABC was trying to say the door was saying “I’m sorry,” but I promise during the episode you could hear the voices of Colton and Tayshia talking behind the door.
Colton dumped Hannah, and he cried, and she cried. Colton, by the way, is not particularly good at breaking up with people. He has two key moves—the Say Absolutely Nothing For Uncomfortable Periods of Time, and the Honest Revelation That Doesn’t Help Anybody Here. He told both women he simply loved Cassie more than them, additionally adding to Hannah that he thought she would be his choice for most of the season and that she “reminds him of home.”
The episode also featured a live segment where Tayshia and Hannah were allowed to confront Colton about their now-months-old breakups, and this went no better. Again, Colton was not good at this, and Hannah seemed genuinely heartbroken by the way things went down. “I want somebody to jump over the fence for me!” she said, nearly convincing The Bachelor to make her the star of the next season of The Bachelorette.
No, the hero isn’t dead yet. But things don’t look good—I’m, uh, not particularly confident in his ability to convince Cassie to change her mind. Sometimes, in life, people have to settle. In Colton’s case, he had the opportunity to “settle” by taking a chance on Hannah—a woman he gave the first-impression rose to because he apparently thought she was the most attractive of the 30 beautiful women of the show on Night 1, a woman who “reminds him of home,” a woman who clearly loves him. Instead he’s going chase a woman who seemingly doesn’t care for him. Maybe it’s romantic, but it’s also needlessly stupid. You’re not actually the hero if you’re the one whose supposedly heroic actions ensure everybody dies in the end.
(And you’re definitely not the hero if I have to recap two Bachelor episodes on back-to-back nights and I don’t get overtime for it.)
Episode MVP: Chris Harrison
For so many years, I have wondered: Why Chris Harrison? Being The Bachelor’s host seems so simple. He has two to three lines per episode, and they’re typically the same line (“Ladies … this is the final rose.”) And the salary is great. How did Chris get blessed with this job?
Monday night, he answered my years’ worth of questioning with a virtuosic performance. The whole episode—from the time he tracked Colton down to the live interview segments—Chris committed to asking awkward questions he typically skips. As Colton fixed to pursue Cassie in a desperately romantic, likely doomed display, he asked the question everybody was thinking but nobody thought would get asked: “What if she’s just not that into you?” He repeatedly brought up the fact that Colton has not yet lost his virginity, and the fact that after dumping two of his final three women and getting dumped by the other, Colton is the first Bachelor ever with no women remaining. Later, Chris closed out the show with perhaps the greatest segue I’ve ever heard: “I would say things don’t look good for Colton losing his virginity … did Colton make a terrible mistake?”
I get it. Chris has been relegated to saying the same lines episode after episode, season after season. Now he’s reveling in the unusual circumstance he’s in, where everybody is sad but the drama is great. Everything has gone upside down—the Bachelor has been dumped, and he’s pursuing a woman who doesn’t love him instead of being pursued by multiple women who do. And the most upside-down thing of all is that Chris is working harder and better than anybody else, getting tons of screen time and making the most of it. He’s been the host for decades, but in this episode, he was the star.
Biggest Reveal: Colton’s Hair
Several months passed in between the end of filming and Monday night’s live episode. What has changed in that time? Have the women whose hearts he broke forgiven him? Has Colton found what he’s looking for?
We don’t know. But we do know that Colton has been in L.A. long enough that somebody has given him questionable haircut tips.
One of the biggest unspoken story lines of this season was Colton’s hair. Colton is objectively hot—he’s handsome, he’s got a friendly smile, he’s ripped, but not overly swole—but he does have that widow’s peak going. All season long, Bachelor stylists worked overtime making the thin wisps creeping down Colton’s forehead into formations that prevented the world from paying too much attention to the situation.
Monday night, somebody went the opposite route, deciding to sculpt a spike emerging from Colton’s forehead. They gave my dude a damn caruncle. (Go ahead, look up caruncles. I’ll wait. Make sure you type in “caruncle bird” or else you’ll get pictures of people’s eyes.)
Hottest Trend: Breaker-Upper Tears
You know what sucks? Getting dumped.
You know what really sucks? The person dumping you somehow acting like this is harder for them (the dumping person) than you (the person getting dumped). But that’s the hot new trend on The Bachelor. Sure, Cassie broke Colton’s heart last week, but guess who cried? Not Colton, who merely shook uncontrollably.
And this week, Colton cried in every breakup. As previously noted, Tayshia needed to escort Colton behind closed doors to protect his tears from scrutiny, while she was getting dumped. Not everybody had that foresight, as Colton kept going back to the tears well. I tried to screencap all of Colton’s breakdowns, but I think I missed seven or eight.
I don’t know who’s going to be left crying at the end of Tuesday night’s finale. But I really feel for the other person.